Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Drake's ambitious sequel goes back to his dark roots...

%26ldquo;We want to show a darker side to Nathan Drake and find out what makes him tick in a way we didn%26rsquo;t get to last time out%26rdquo; admits Naughty Dog co-president, Evan Wells. Judging by the brief trailers already out in the ether, it seems they%26rsquo;re on the right track. The wise-cracking, chiseled lead from Uncharted: Drake%26rsquo;s Fortune is seen in two new scenarios. First, trekking across the frozen tundra clutching a statue (or Phurba to be precise) in his hands and secondly, tumbling out of a train carriage as it dangles precariously off a cliff.

Both are brand new locales, but both depict a bloodied and beaten Drake and within three minutes of footage, he only finds time for one light-hearted quip about the bleeding from his stomach wound. Naughty Dog insists that Nathan%26rsquo;s hunt for the Cintamani stone %26ndash; a jewel that grants the owner wishes %26ndash; will not only see new environments in battered Nepalese streets and snow-drenched Himalayan Mountains, but a shadier character inside Drake too.

The subtitle speaks volumes %26ndash; Among Thieves is the devs%26rsquo; direct acknowledgment of the fact that under his Gap-style clothing, Nathan is nothing but a crook looking out for number one. He%26rsquo;s caught up in the sleazy underworld of crime but it%26rsquo;s not clear how he%26rsquo;s ended up in trouble again. Could it be the reason why Elena %26ndash; his main squeeze of the original %26ndash; is given the chop for this sequel? Maybe she gave him the %26lsquo;it%26rsquo;s me or the treasure hunts%26rsquo; ultimatum and he went with the latter? Only time will tell, but he%26rsquo;s got himself a new female companion %26ndash; a sultry brunette named Chloe, who%26rsquo;s also a treasure hunter. Just like last time out, Nathan isn%26rsquo;t the only one on the trail. There%26rsquo;s a gun-toting group of paramilitary soldiers in the running too.

Even though these new bad-guys are kitted out with flak jackets and shields (more on these later) Uncharted 2 tones down the amount of bullets it takes to drop a man. Emptying clip after clip of hot lead just to kill one armorless pirate in the original was a massive gripe, but mercifully weapons have greater stopping power this time out. And with the promise of more enemies on screen, it seems like Drake%26rsquo;s going to need all the help he can get.

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